Instagram Tips for Small Businesses

Image by PICHA contributor, Emmanuel Obuobi | Written by PICHA’s social media manager, Teshie Ogallo.

With the rise of COVID-19, social media has now become an essential marketing tool for most businesses. Businesses have had to pivot and learn how to use social media to their advantage to expand their networks and get more sales. Instagram for one has really expanded its functionality to make it easier for businesses to market and sell their work through their advanced and new advertisement and Instagram shop features.  For a lot of traditional businesses still trying to manoeuvre this new age of social media marketing, here are a few tips to help you effectively market your small businesses on Instagram.

Create good, clear and professional content

In this day and age, content is KEY! Gone are the days when just having a social media account was enough. Now, everyone is online!  What is going to set you apart from your competitor online is the quality of your content. If you are a ‘product-selling’ business, invest in a photographer to take professional images and videos of your products for you to sell online. With more purchases happening solely through the online space you want to make sure that your product looks appealing and of high quality. If you’re a serviced based business, you still need content to share on social media. You may also find hiring a professional photographer unfeasible.  A good option for you would be to invest in stock photography or stock videography. This is a cheaper way to get the quality content that you need while still saving on time. When choosing the content or stock photography sites to purchase from please ensure that the content you choose is a clear depiction of your customer base and needs. For example, if you’re selling a product to an African market make sure that the people in your ads and the surroundings are reflective of your customers. Otherwise your message can easily be lost in translation and you won’t appeal to the very people you’re targeting. Last but certainly not the least point when it comes to content; be creative in how you relay your messages online. A lot of people don’t like being pressured to buy a product or service with every post they see from you. Instead, show the value of your products by sharing more educational or inspirational information about it that will spike people’s interests making them want to be a part of this amazing product.

Be consistent in posting regularly

Consistency is KEY! Have a regular posting schedule for your business and stick to it! Your followers want to see that you are reliable and that they can count on you. When you post inconsistently, people tend to forget about you or not take you too seriously. You always want to be at the forefront of your customer’s minds and this can be achieved through consistent posting

Boost your posts or pay for online ads

With everyone now being on social media, there is a lot of saturation in the online space. It is therefore very easy for your brand to get lost in the noise online. With so many people posting throughout the day your content may not get to the intended target audience organically. It’s therefore necessary for you to boost these posts by paying for online advertisements. This will help you choose the target audience that you’d like to view and engage with your posts. It will also help you reach a much wider audience with your content which in turn can help you grow your follower and customer base.

Engage a lot with your audience and with similar pages to yours

For your business to grow online it is essential that its engagement rate is good. This means that people online need to be regularly interacting with the content you put out. This can be through likes, comments, shares, reposts, etc. Create content that communicates with your audience. Ask them questions, prompt them to do something so as to start a conversation and build your engagement.

Use most of Instagram’s features, both new and old to improve your visibility on IG

This is one tip that is closely linked to the Instagram algorithm. Sometimes you may be doing everything that can be done to create good content, put it out consistently and regularly engage with your audience. However, the Instagram algorithm just may not be letting you flourish. This happens a lot where Instagram won’t show your posts to your followers on their news feeds. One thing you can do to make the Instagram algorithm work for you is by using the newest features on the application regularly. Each and every time Instagram launches a new feature, it wants its users to use that feature. It will hence give preference and increase visibility of the posts of people regularly using their new features. It also gives preference to those that use ALL their features regularly (both old and new). It’s thus upon you to diversify the type of content you put out and make the algorithm work for you!

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